CAT | weight loss
Everyone knows fiber supports digestive health and is great for helping to keep you regular, but really that’s just the tip of the iceberg.‡ A diet high in fiber is good for your whole body, and in fact studies have shown that a high-fiber diet offers the following benefits:
- Helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels‡
- Supports normal blood sugar‡
- Promotes cardiovascular health‡
- Helps remove toxins and waste‡
- Curbs appetite by helping you feel full‡
Now for the bad news: according to the National Institutes of Health, Americans aren’t getting nearly enough fiber—on average only 10 to 15 grams per day.
Add More Fiber with the Love Your Heart Eating Plan
Foods high in fiber are encouraged in Brenda Watson’s Love Your Heart Eating Plan because fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is not digested by enzymes in the digestive tract. High-fiber foods decrease the absorption of carbs after a meal, in turn helping to control blood sugar and insulin response to carbohydrates.
Brenda recommends eating 35 grams of fiber daily from plenty of non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits. The addition of a fiber supplement is also a great way to ensure you get enough fiber each day;‡ just be sure to look for a supplement that is:
- Made with natural and organically grown ingredients
- Made with lignan-rich flax fiber, soluble acacia fiber or natural chia seed
Psyllium-free to prevent cramping, gas and/or bloating
It seems the beautiful people in Hollywood are finally catching on to the concept of inner beauty. Beauty nutritionist and nutricosmetics formulator Paula Simpson recently talked to Access Hollywood about stars and their beauty secrets, and guess what? Pop icons like Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga go nuts over nutrient-rich “beauty drinks” loaded with essential fatty acids, antioxidant plant compounds, and… prebiotics and probiotics!
Just what are Prebiotics?
While we hear a lot these days about probiotics (the friendly bacteria in the gut that support optimal digestion and immune health†), we don’t often hear too much about prebiotics—but the two go hand in hand. That’s because prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that promote the growth of probiotics in the gut.† They are essentially food for your beneficial gut bacteria and are often found in the form of soluble fibers, such as FOS (fructooligosaccharides) and acacia fiber.
If you think about it, soluble fibers escape digestion, arriving in the colon (large intestine) largely intact. Then, good bacteria use the soluble fibers like food. A fermentation process occurs, yielding beneficial compounds such as the short-chain fatty acid butyrate, which fuels intestinal lining cells, and lactic acid, which lowers the colon pH to a healthy level.† When found together, prebiotics and probiotics form what’s called a “synbiotic” relationship—pretty much a win-win for your gut!
Cleansing Greens for Inner Balance
And what would a beauty drink be without cleansing greens for good digestion and detox? Says Simpson, “Greens or ‘cleansing’ foods supercharge the body and support the eliminative organs such as the digestive system to support optimal nutrient absorption and remove byproducts or toxins before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream (and get to the skin). Spinach, kale, dandelion greens or concentrated greens, such as wheatgrass, barley grass, spirulina are great to add to smoothies for a detox beauty boost.”